Moved to a new place in the last few months, and the building we are living in doesn’t have laundry on site, so every week or so I must make that dreaded trip to the laundromat. I hate doing laundry, and I hate laundromats, but the last time I brought my journal along and it gave me this somewhat amusing (if a bit depressing) journal entry:
I hate the sound of a laundromat. The way everyone’s laundry bumps up and down and goes every which-way, it makes me feel like there’s a hovercraft nearby, the rinsing and the swooshing, the quick, jagged vibrating of a laundry load full of jeans. The heavy slosh of an empty washer only half-full, only half used.
The dryer doors that fly open in mid-spin on a whim, flinging out their contents…be free undies…be free towels…be free…
Then there is the final rinse, the final spin, the heavy drone of a washer that bids you to keep waiting, groans and shudders, waiting….waiting…wait. One final spin, a heavy moan and then it shudders. It’s done.
How disturbing that washing clothes sounds like sex on paper, but it’s not like that at all.
Doing laundry is not sexy. It is the un-sexed, the final hangnail, the equivalent of having a migraine with a piercing light shining down on you.
It is like finding a stain on your favorite t-shirt, drumming your steering wheel in long lines of traffic, a fly buzzing in your ear, diarrhea, a sink full of dirty dishes, an open wound, the stink and the squelch of feet stuck in cold mud.
It is that raw, open feeling of words not said, of empty spaces, of regrets that come flying back in crowds of laughing, boisterous people. It’s like realizing you’ve forgotten something very important, and that dread of forgotten assignments…a pop-quiz, a failed class, the feeling of social paranoia. It is that trapped, dizzying realization that no one is coming to rescue you – life really comes with disappointments, heart ache and hurts.
And no one is going to rescue you from the overwhelming joyless feeling of living sometimes. Sometimes, all you can do is feel lost in the hullabaloo of it. Sometimes all you can do is look around hopelessly at the blank, wide-eyed, too-beautiful people and hope that they won’t notice that you might smell like prey to their eyes, that you might be that one person that might make this second of their lives a little more entertaining.
But ah, I digress – laundry. That menial chore that reminds you that there are other hopeless people in the world around you. You may think that you smell like roses most of the time, but in the end of it…eventually, all your clothes smell like shit. And that’s enough to bring dread to anyone.
Yeah, I really hate laundry. One day, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll hire someone to do it for me. But for now, it keeps me with the realization, and reminds me that no one is perfect – myself included.